I don’t know whether this was meant to be public, but I no longer care. And word is Baines didn’t even write this damn thing, the fucking president of NEC – whom Chester is pawning their students off on – fucking wrote it for him.Fuck Baines, and Fuck the BOT.
To: The Chester College Community
From: President Bob Baines and Board Chairman James Bennett
Note: The final decision regarding the future of Chester College was made late this afternoon.
After careful consideration and an in-depth exploration into all the options and resources available to us, the Board of Trustees of Chester College of New England has reached the conclusion that our efforts to secure and increase our enrollment can no longer sustain the college. It is with a profound sense of sadness that I report to you that the Board has voted to close Chester College.
We would like to thank all members of the Chester College community for their fine service to the college and for their valiant efforts to build a sound financial foundation that would allow us to continue to offer our students an academic experience at Chester College. We are deeply grateful to our faculty and staff your dedication to this institution and its students and for your commitment to your careers in higher education.
Despite this disheartening news, we are pleased to report to you that the Chester College Board of Trustees has reached an agreement late this afternoon with New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, that will allow all of our students, both newly admitted and returning, to enroll automatically at New England College. This agreement takes effect immediately and both institutions will begin a series of carefully orchestrated steps to ensure the smooth transition of our students.
The agreement provides that all students currently enrolled at Chester College will pay the same tuition rate and retain all credits that they have earned toward their degrees. All new students that have been accepted to Chester College are automatically accepted at New England College and will pay the same tuition rate that they anticipated at Chester.
In order to assist in the transition and to create a familiar environment for our students, New England College will, subject to certain conditions, hire four of our faculty members for minimum one-year contracts, and NEC will consider applications from Chester employees for open positions at NEC.
We will hold meetings early next week with faculty and staff to discuss the closing process and our efforts to provide personal assistance for all impacted by this difficult decision.
In the next few days, a number of faculty and staff from New England College will visit with our students at Chester College to provide opportunities for Chester students to ask questions on enrollment, financial aid, and student services. A follow-up visit to the Chester campus is planned and will include members of the New England College faculty who represent the academic disciplines offered at Chester. Additionally, weekly “walk-in days” will be held at New England College to allow our students personalized attention in selecting and registering for courses.
New England College’s President, Dr. Michele Perkins, is planning a visit to Chester to meet with students personally. Dr. Perkins previous association with Chester College, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. has given her a solid understanding of our students’ needs and the academic environment that our students experience here. During that time, Dr. Perkins served as the Vice President of Enrollment and advised the administration of the college during the transition to a four-year institution.
We will continue to update the Chester College community on the particulars of this agreement and specific dates for visits to our campus and New England College. Again, let me thank all members of the Chester College community for their dedication to our college as all of us strive to facilitate a smooth transition with New England College.
We will also assist students individually who do not wish to attend New England College.